Historic art book with Faculty link to feature in Madrid exhibition

27 Apr


A historic art book with a Faculty connection has been carefully restored at the National Library of Scotland, ready to be put on show at one of the world’s leading museums.

William Stirling’s Annals of the Artists of Spain was published in 1848 and was the first art book to be illustrated with photographs. It features photographs of paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints by artists including El Greco, Velazquez, Murillo and Goya, and is credited with helping Spanish art to become widely known abroad.

Only 50 copies of the book were produced and Stirling personally donated one of the copies to the Advocates Library, which at the time was effectively Scotland’s national library. In 1925, the Faculty made a gift to the nation of 750,000 non-legal books, pamphlets, maps and sheet music to establish the National Library of Scotland.

Conservators at the National Library have carried out detailed repair work on its copy of the Stirling book, which will go on show at the Museo del Prado in Madrid in May as part of an exhibition which has assembled for the first time the material used by him for the preparation of the book.

The Library is showing a short film of the conservation work between noon and 2pm today when the book will also be on display (Wednesday, 27 April). Entry is free and full details at http://www.nls.uk/news/press/2016/04/historic-art-book